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The control of vertebrate problem animals in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

An overview of vertebrate pests in the Cape Province of South Africa is provided, including a history of their management and control. Particular attention is given to predation on livestock by carnivores, which originally was the subject of a bounty system that was largely replaced in 1951 by a system of “Technical Aid”, which includes subsidies to hunt clubs and training of their members and hounds, testing of techniques, and predator control research. By the early 1960s, a cooperative training exchange program established with the U.S. led to the adoption of use of coyote getters and Compound 1080 for control of black-backed jackals in Cape Province. Adaptations of these tools for South African situations is discussed. Other vertebrate pest problems in Cape Province include the cape otter, honey badger, musk cats, mongooses, African wild cat, blackfooted cat, and primates including baboons and monkeys. Notable rodent problems include the hyrax (dassie), Cape gerbille, and giant dune mole, porcupine, and antbear. Among bird pests are the introduced European starling, the quelea, red bishop bird, Cape raven, pied crow, and the black crow. Damage inflicted by these species is briefly discussed, as are typical control methods.

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